Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hannah's Christmas List: Trash the Dress

I mentioned in a previous post that I asked Edwin for a trash-the-dress photo shoot as a Christmas gift. I loved the idea of actually getting to wear my pretty wedding gown one more time, and I also loved the idea of having some pictures of me in front of a camera. (I'm usually the one taking the photo.)

Allow me to say this: If you've been contemplating a trash-the-dress, I highly recommend that you follow through. We were able to remember our wedding day, and we now have lots of fun photographic evidence that we really like each other. (It's a great thing to remember.) It would be an excellent anniversary gift from a husband to wife, or a great Christmas present. Just a thought...

We also had some family photos taken. Marriage is about more than romance, after all. Plus, our kids are really cute, and they make us look good.

If you live in the North Country, and are in need of a photographer, allow me to recommend Krista. She does a fabulous job. If you go to her website, you can also check our her ridiculously amazing cakes. They're incredible!

Friday, November 25, 2011

$20 for 3 Christmas Windows

The second blog in the Imperfectly Pinterest Series.

After looking through several ideas on the Better Homes and Gardens website and friends' Pinterest boards, I decided to give myself a challenge to see how far I could stretch $20 and change when it comes to Christmas decorations.

I started with this:

This is what I was able to purchase, mostly from Dollar Tree:

(The lollipops were to reward my children for being semi-patient while I calculated, recalculated, and recalculated again.)

I used the directions from this tutorial that a friend of mine pinned on her Pinterest board to create a mini-wreath. I cut the wire hanger in two to make the wreath smaller because I didn't want to use that many ornaments, and I didn't feel like a large wreath was needed.

 I seriously debated the gardland, but I have decided that I like it around the curtain rod and a part of a bow. Here is how the window turned out:

I noticed that there is a trend in hanging ornaments everywhere, so for a simple decoration on the kitchen window, I wrapped the curtain rod in some ribbon that was left over from my wedding and hung a few ornaments at varying lengths. I have to say, it looks much better in person.

One of my favorite ideas from bhg.com was to hang ornaments in picture frames. The round ornaments in the frames are also left over from my wedding. The middle angel ornament was given to us as a wedding gift. The frames were originally black, and I wish I would have just bought them in white, but I didn't, so I painted them.

I hope that your decorating is off to a great beginning, or that it will be when you get to it. I also wish you a pepper-spray free holiday season. I mean, seriously? Does that video game cure cancer or something? Okay, ranting over.

Happy decorating, celebrating, shopping, eating, and (oh, yeah!) worshiping Christ this Christmas season.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to Make a Photo Canvas

Blog #1 of the Imperfectly Pinterest series.

Edwin requested some Scripture for his office walls as a birthday gift. This is how he became the first family victim of Pinterest. I found the perfect tutorial on a friend's board, and decided to put it to use as a birthday gift for my wonderful hubby.

Here's how it went:

1. Get your supplies together. You'll need-
as many blank canvases as you need (I went with 8x10)
photos printed in the same size as the canvas (You may need to trim the adges. The photos should be slightly smaller than the canvas)
Mod Podge
Brushes, I went with sponge brushes
Black paint
Ribbon or (better) scrapbook paper (If you use ribbon, I have come to the realization that it would be best to prime the edges and sides of the canvas with the black paint in order to reduce the appearance of gaps.)

2.. Mod Podge the canvas. I just used the extremely cheap sponge brushes.

2. Press the photo onto the canvas.

3. Turn over the canvas, and press out all of the air bubbles.

4. Mod Podge the sides.

5. Cover the sides with ribbon or 4 strips of scrapbook paper cut to almost the same size as each edge. I now realize that the scrapbook paper works better.

6. Mod Podge the whole photo. I used a thick coat and made a circular motion that made the appearance of brush strokes. That works well.

7. Let it dry... Then dry sponge the edges with the black paint. I first used a sponge brush, but I then discovered that a makeup applicator sponge is much better at getting the light effect around the edges.

8. Allow to dry. Be extremely happy with your results, no matter how imperfect they are.
The photo below demonstrates the difference between the sponge brush application and the makeup sponge application.

Make sure that you check out the original, and far more perfect, instructions on Blue Cricket Designs. Edwin was extremely happy with his birthday gift, which was really the point, after all.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pique Your Pinterest

I recently joined Pinterest. I have mixed feelings regarding the new social media. On one hand I really don't like the fact that there is a new guilt-tripping mechanism that is trying to force me to spend every waking moment organizing, cooking, decorating, and crafting. Actually, I'm not totally sure that there would be time for sleep if I tried to tackle every project that brought on guilt.

On the other hand, the holiday season has a strange way of making me wish that I could build a table from a door or cook the perfect Christmas turkey for $3 a person.

This brings me to a place where I am trying to wade through the ridiculous projects in an attempt to find the accomplishable ideas that will actually benefit me and my family... as opposed to making more work and covering my entire home in glitter.

You are invited to join me on this tumultuous journey through the domestic battleground as we begin a series that I have affectionately titled, "Imperfectly Pinterest."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Edwin Was Born!

Yesterday was Edwin's birthday. God has blessed this little planet with Edwin for 32 years now. He never ceases to amaze me with the amount of wisdom and maturity he has collected in that short time. I have known him for nine of his 32 years, and I desperately hope to have many, many more opportunities to celebrate his addition to the world.

For Christmas I gently requested (or nagged, whichever) a trash-the-dress photo shoot. We also had a few family photos taken. . I plan on blogging about the trash-the-dress experience soon, but I wanted to share some of my favorites that feature my insanely handsome
husband now. For more information about the photographer, check out her website here. I must admit that I struggle with jealousy for her abilities, which include photography and gorgeous cake decorating.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Little About My Brother.

My brother has been living with us since September. He is taking a semester from seminary to come and help out our family and church. I must admit, I didn't expect him to be as helpful as he's been. He is constantly seeking out opportunities to be nice to us. If he sees something that needs to be done, he usually jumps right in and does it.

I haven't lived anywhere near my brother since graduating from high school. The girls knew him... sort of, but they didn't have a real relationship with him. It has been great to get to know him again, and for the girls to get to know him for the first time. (I think Edwin likes having him around, too.)

It's no small thing that he took time out of his life to come and live with us for a few months. Micah is going to be a great pastor, a great dad, and he's already a great man. I'm so thankful for you, bro. I'm not looking forward to when you leave, but I am tremendously grateful for the time we get with you.

Monday, November 7, 2011


My brother just tried to tell me a riddle. I thought about it for a few seconds, but seeing as I had a laptop handy, I decided to Google it. Because thinking is just so last century.

The man who made it doesn't want it. The man who bought it doesn't need it. The man who needs it doesn't know it.

What's the answer?

A coffin.

You have to respect a company whose name has become a verb. When we went to missionary training, we were told that it would be a good idea to "Google yourself." I don't care how mature of a Christian you are, that's going to crack you up.

The availability of information is an amazing, and incredibly dangerous, development of our time. There are very few secrets in our world. Saturday night we were watching the post game show after the Alabama-LSU game (I'm not ready to talk about the game), and Kirk Herbstreit stopped the question because he had just felt an earthquake. Before anyone could have reported it, before the earthquake had even concluded, thousands and thousands of people were aware of it.

I personally enjoy the speed with which I can retrieve the weather report, price comparisons, and product reviews. I like you, Google, even if you do ruin my brother's attempts to befuddle me. I'm more than a little scared of you, though. Do you see everything? Do you spend your life going to and fro across the earth, looking for information to organize by keyword?

I would like to continue on my little rant, but this blog's server is owned by the Google dominion, and I've seen enough movies and read enough books to know that you don't mess with the technological powers that be.

Did you hear that, Google? I'm going to bed now, a place where I'm pretty sure that you can't see me. At least, I hope not (insert Twilight Zone theme music here).